Friday, August 19, 2005

Look At All These Roaches

People are saying Bellhorn's gone. I'll believe it when I see it. Angels and Sox websites are saying tonight's game is postponed, despite no bad weather in SoCal. What's going on?

Shea Stadium, August 18th, 2005

It's bad news when you load up the game on, and the first thing you see is skyrockets in flight. The nighttime, non-delightful kind. The score is now: Angels lots and lots of runs, Red Sox not so much.

So I'll just move on to my experience at Shea Stadium tonight.

Brian (left, in shower) and I arrived at the big, drab piece of concrete in Queens in time for gates opening. I'd never taken the subway out there before, so I didn't realize that the whole time you're in Queens, you're above ground, el-style. Pretty scary up there, like being on a roller coaster that's never checked for safety purposes.

We went in, and the Mets were on the field, taking batting practice. We went out to right field to try and catch home runs. The stands at Shea are set up so that most home runs land harmlessly behind the fence without any chance of a fan getting it. For all of BP, not one ball went to a fan, with the exception of the "picnic area" in left field.

Pedro was right near me, and I kept trying to get his attention, but he had the iPod on, so it wasn't to be. And almost as if to add insult to my own injury, I got Jose Offerman to wave to me by yelling his name. Can you believe he's in the major leagues?

One Pirate did try to throw me a ball. A dude named Torres. But it didn't reach me. The spot where we were is about twenty feet above the field.

Then, Chan (right, behind a bearded me a decade ago), who scored the sweet seats, met up with us right around first pitch. Our seats were down the right field line, in the field boxes.

Great view of the game, but a crappy game it was, for the most part. The Mets' offense was anemic. And everything just went by so fast, National League-style. I swear, that league is a different sport to me. It's like being at some kind of "Kids Baseball Land Fun Park," where the game happens in fast forward so they can get to the between inning entertainment. That worked out tonight, though, since I did want to get home for the 10 P.M. Sox game, and I wanted a donut from this awesome place on 86th Street. It's the only place where I've ever gotten a donut that I had to put away to finish later.

The Pirates won 6-0, behind the solid pitching of Zach Duke. Before the game, I said I liked the name to be spelled "Zack," while Brian preferred "Zach," because "it's like Brach's." Good call. We think "Zack the Lego Maniac" spelled it with a "k."

Anyway, Duke had a no-no into the sixth, until Chan jinxed him.

And Mets fans despise Kaz Matsui.

Also, going back now, to before we left for the game, we walked to Grand Central to get the subway, and stopped to sit down in the Hyatt. Of course, we saw some Pirates. I couldn't tell you which ones. (Maybe that Tike guy.) But as they headed out of the lobby, me and Brian followed them out, and tried to "pretend to be players," hoping one of the Pirate fans outside would try to get our autograph. At Brian's suggestion, we tried to "look big" as we walked out. However, my Space Invaders T-shirt and Red Sox hat, as well as Brian's mohawk, might have tipped them off to the fact that we weren't Pittsburgh Pirates. Still, we decided that if we were asked, we'd sign "Paul Welch," as that sounded like the name of a player, or that of a son of a coach.

That's my story. I can't wait until the Mets get a new stadium. And Jack Wilson looks like Jerry Seinfeld.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Crass Commercialism

I'm so happy about the yanks' blown game and series loss to the Devil Rays, that I'm not going to get into my Chan-scaring rage that I was in earlier in the game.

Since the yanks elected to put Aaron Smallace (because he looks like Wallace, from Wallace & Grommit, last time I'll explain that one) in the pen, due to Jaret Wright's return, I guess Torre's plan tonight was to go with Leiter, and then have Smallace at the ready. Leiter actually did pretty well; didn't even have to throw 120 pitches. In fact, he was only at about 80, I think, when Torre gave him the quick hook. And it cost them, as Smallace had his first bad outing, getting the Rays back in the game. (A game they were only losing, 5-2, because of their own miscues, and yankee bloop hits, of course.) Then the yanks thought, hey, how can we work Alan "Captain Cheese" Embree into this one? Cheese actually didn't do too bad, but note that at this point, Piniella was doing everything he possibly could to give the yanks the game. A blown squeeze helped them get out of the seventh, with the game tied. Cheese was still in in the eighth when Cano made a horrible throwing error. Then Sturtze came in, gave up a double, and then gave up the winning run on what Ken Sigleton called "The wildest pitch you'll ever see." (Not really, as a dude once threw a pitch at Fenway that went on top of the screen, slowly rolling down as two Red Sox scored.) A 1-2-3 ninth by Danys Baez, and the Rays actually had a comeback win. Hallelujah. So, we're still up 5 in the loss, with 44 to play. (43 for them.) Hey, the yanks' record is 65-54! Do you know what this means? It means that Michael Backwards Kay's prediction of 108 wins is one loss away from being incorrect. As of now, they'd have to go 43-0 for Kay to nail it. My predictions can be off, but not that far off.

That was a long paragraph, eh? Anyway, it's getting close to magic number time. Last year, I kept track of it here all season. This year, I guess I'll wait til it hits single digits. I'm sure everyone will be talking about it by then, though. I'm sure I'll come up with some new and exciting way to do it.

So we head for the coast now, and the yanks head to Blotown, where they'll face a team whose motto for the season is: "Win. Or die trying." I kid you not.

In "music in commercials" news, I've noticed some astonishing things lately. Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song" appeared in a Coors ad recently. And "Easy"--the Faith No More version, as opposed to Lionel Richie's--is on some Levi's commercial. But the craziest one is the Nissan spot, which features the tune "Can't Wait One Minute More" by CIV. The dude from CIV, named Civ, used to be the singer for the straight edge hardcore band Gorilla Biscuits. I just think it's odd. I mean, not only the fact that these people are selling rights to big corporations that stand against everything their bands once stood for, but just that these dudes are now the voices of commercial jingles that people who would never listen to these bands now hear every day. I'm talkin' about:

I don't know, maybe it doesn't really matter. I guess everybody dresses and acts "weird" nowadays. And it's no different from all those sixties songs that are in commercials. Maybe it's just weird to me to hear these bands from "my" generation in commercials.

Oh well. yankees lost.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Five double freakin' plays. Despite being down five runs early, it really looked like we were going to come back. But the double plays, and the lack of any sign of life in Millar's body, really killed us. And Graffanuno Bettencourt had a bad day, with two DPs and a play where he didn't cover first on a squeeze. But Manny should have been pinch hitting for him in the eighth, anyway.

Wells didn't really give up too many hard hit balls in that first. I can't blame him. But I do blame Gary Thorne for talking about how "you KNEW the Tigers weren't going to score any more after the first." As he finished this thought, Wells gave up a homer, and two hits after that. So he was done. But Remlinger actually didn't do half bad today.

I also blame myself for the loss. I stayed positive, despite the frustration factor being at 80 out of 80 for most of the game. I was sure we'd eventually win. And it looked good with Ortiz up in the ninth. But, for some reason, I thought about the shift, and wondered if a double play was possible, even if the second baseman was way out in the outfield, and the third baseman had to turn it. And I got that image in my head, and it stuck there until, amazingly, it actually happened. So blame me. I'm serious. The next few days I'll be up late, watching the Sox on behalf of all the early-to-bedders, having only positive thoughts. I'm thinking today's weird premonition of negativity was planted in my brain by Steinbrenner. Either way, I apologize to everyone.


This isn't supposed to be some clever thing about Papelbon. My friend Brian called me, telling me that Al told him about this site that does real life recreations of video games, including Paperboy. But it is funny how that picture of the Paperboy looks like Papelbon, and his name starts with "Pape." So maybe I will call him "Paperboy" after all. But I don't like it as much as "Mini-Papel," which is kind of a reference to the fact that there's "Big Papi," making Papelbon "Little Papi," which I change to "Mini-Papel" since Minneapolis calls itself the "Mini Apple" (get it, Minne Apol?) because it's the New York of the upper midwest. And when he's bad, he could be "Papel Suicide." Which is a reference to a band me and Pat were in when we were 15, "Papal Suicide." Or he could be Todd Van Poppel-bon. (Or Eric Van Poppel-bon?)

Anyway, here's the link to the Paperboy recreation. I think the truck-driving "paperboy" isn't in on the gag, but Chan is skeptical.

If you've never played Paperboy, you won't think this is very funny. You need chawcolatey Quik-Time, I guess.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


yanks up one going to last of ninth with Mariano.

Sox down one going to ninth.

And then Superman flew around the world a million times really fast and turned everything around!

Wow, we were this close to being in a really sweaty situation. But thanks to Big Papi, (and the mini-Pappel) and the Captain, we come back to win.

And thanks to Eduardo Perez, Mariano, and later, Captain Cheese (!) and the Assman, Scott Proctor, the yanks blow it.

What a night.

TJ, Sams

Terrible job, Curt. Hey Red Sox, let's stick with relievers in the 'pen. Then again, I will paraphrase from the Seymour Skinner quotebook yet again: "Prove me wrong, Curt. Prove me wrong."

And this blown game came after watching the Devil Rays swing at every pitch Jaret Wright threw, as if they thought keeping a guy's pitch count LOW is what you're supposed to do. They hit him hard, just at people. And A-Rod hit a lazy fly that looked like it was headed for the center fielder's glove until it hit a catwalk and was called a home run. And Mariano is starting to look shaky these days. Only the Devil Rays lose that game. And maybe the '05 Royals. And Ridgefield Little League's Village Bank squad circa '87.

According to yahoo, Tampa Bay scored in the bottom of the fourth on a homer by J. Giambi. Terrible job. It wasn't a yankee player who homered for the other team. It was Jonny "Wad" Gomes, who's been swinging a huge stick for the Rays lately. (I tend to avoid porno jokes, but the dude's name is, like, really close to a famous porn actor's name, for god's sake. And I only know that because they made a movie about the guy, starring Jim Morrison. I mean Nipply Batman. I mean Val Kilmer. But that's the only porno actor I know, besides the guy with the mustache.) (Okay, I know what you're thinking. "Ha ha, this 25-34-year-old male is 'pretending' he doesn't know anything about porn! That's comedy gold!" But I'm serious. Terrible job, porn.) (Okay, now you're thinking, "This guy doesn't drink OR watch porn? He must totally love Jesus and all his shitty teachings." Well, terrible job if you think that. I don't need the ChristMaster3000, either. In fact, maybe if Schilling would put some faith in his arm instead of in some ghost that doesn't exist, we could have beaten the Detroit Tigers tonight.)

Moving on, I was only checking yahoo because I missed two yankee runs tonight while I was out buying stuff to make burritos. When I got home, I saw they'd scored two runs, and said, Gee, I wonder which D-Ray made a key error for that to happen. So I wasn't surprised when I saw that they did indeed make a two-out error, which the yanks scored on, and then another run scored in that inning. What I'm trying to say is, it was a frustrating night. But Chan scored some sweet Mets tickets from work for Thursday, so I've got that goin' for me. It'll be nice to be able to go into the lower deck at Shea without having a cranky, 200-year old usher escort me away and then keep track of my movements so they won't miss me when I try to sneak back in. For a change.

So, to avoid what may have been some confusion, male Sam, you wanna tell your boys, the Rays, to WIN. Female Sam, you're lookin' to make your Thigh-gers LOSE. For the next two days. Are we clear?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cheesy News & Notes

The other day, Kay was talking about Embree, saying how the yanks got him because he's got a championship pedigree. It was a great moment for me when I heard that. The yankees looking to a Red Sox player to find someone with a ring. I love it.

The yanks may have swept four from Texas, but again, they didn't exactly make it look like Alex Rodriguez will be getting that first ring anytime soon. The hit totals in the series were 48 for the yanks, 43 for the Rangers. Tonight, Jeter's out of the lineup [correction, he's DH-ing] and Jaret Wright is back (woohoo!), as they go against their Orioles, the Devil Rays.

We go to Tiger Town. Remember that movie? Remember TV tag?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Fenway Park, August 13th, 2005

I saw the Red Sox beat the White Sox on Saturday. This was my first time watching a game from the Monster Seats (standing room). I brought a camera.

Just couldn't nail the banner shot. After three attempts ended with the banner looking like a thin line, I finally settled for this fourth shot. At least "04" is clear. Oh, and when I say banner, I'm referring to the banner that commemorates the fact that the Red Sox won the World Series. Last year. No, brain, I'm not effin' with you.

This may or may not be Jere. -mi Gonzalez, that is. I thought this was a throw-away, but upon further review, I like the shadow, the dirt, and, of course, the perspective. Speaking of further review, Doug Flutie walked past me in the Monster Seats. I said hi. He waved. I took a picture. Of the back of his head. From thirty feet away. Die-hard Flutie fans can e-mail me for a copy. Then they can ask me, "Which guy is him again?" Other celebs in the Monster Seats were the dude from Desperate Housewives who threw out the first ball, and Schonda Schilling, who stood in the same spot the whole game, chatting with fans. I noticed that she's not as big on "standing in a high place with lots of metal around during a lightning storm"-safety as she is with the sun-safety. Also saw Richard Bachman in his Ortiz jersey.

After the horrible umpiring the other night, some birds have said, "Red line does no good anyway. I poop on red line!"

A human just can't reach a camera out far enough to get a shot of the scoreboard, I don't think. You can see the upper ridge of it, though. And the open door.

Ball in flight shot.

37 feet or so above Carl Everett.

Cool cloud. Can you feel the humidity coming out of this shot?

When Ortiz and Millar appeared before the game, Ortiz got a huge hand from the crowd. Millar raised his hat high to everyone, before doing "Oh, you meant that guy" jokey-joke hand signals. Then he jumped on David's back, as shown here.

Manny joins us out in left.

Manny motions toward fans. If I could afford season tickets, I'd get them down the left field line, just to be able to watch Manny interact with the crowd all night.

Wakefield's first pitch of the game. (Batter: Whitey McSox.)

Bootleg T-shirt makers have succumbed to manny-being-mania. I can't believe people buy shirts that just say "Manny Being Manny." But I bought the Dream Theater album in '92, so I shouldn't talk.

Kapler leads off in place of Johnny. At this point, I was in an actual seat, though my ticket was for Standing Room. I don't see how anyone could have these hundred dollar seats, and then not only miss all of batting practice, but the beginning of the game as well. Terrible job, rich people. This is why no one likes you.

Ortiz hits one into the right field roof deck. (Trust me.)

A picture of two other people taking a picture of Manny not swinging.

I like this shot of a hot summer night in the holiest of holies. Game time temp was 94 degrees. Eventually, lightning started flashing, and cops told us we might have to leave the Monster. But when the game was delayed, they told everyone in the park to head for cover anyway. It was cool going out on Yawkey Way to just feel the rain on me.

Petagine's first Red Sox home run trot. (Kapstein didn't stand up. See red shirt above right-hand Dunkin Donuts sign.)

The moon over Fenway, and Fisk Pole. Fisk himself was at the game as well, as he often is. End of pictures.

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